AN ACTRESS known for her role in the Harry Potter films and who is a vocal supporter of animal rights causes has written a letter opposing greyhound racing in Oxford.
On Friday, Oxford Stadium announced greyhound racing would return to the Cowley venue following an almost decade-long absence.
Miriam Margolyes, who was born in Oxford and played Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter movies, has penned a letter to Oxford City Council ahead of a meeting today.
At the meeting, the local authority is set to hear a motion from councillors, calling for no greyhound racing in the city.
Ms Margolyes’ letter to councillors states: “There’s much I love about the city I grew up in, including its rich history – but greyhound racing is one thing that should remain firmly in Oxford’s past.
“This ghastly business causes thousands of dogs each year ailments ranging from broken legs to heart attacks.
“By supporting this motion, you would be doing right by animals and compassionate Oxfordians who don’t want to see their beautiful city tarnished by this cruelty.
“Please, help keep greyhound racing out of Oxford.”
More than 32,000 people have signed an online petition opposing Oxford Stadium being used for greyhound racing, urging the city council to intervene.
At the council meeting this evening, a motion proposed by Liberal Democrat councillor Laurence Fouweather, and seconded by Green councillor Lucy Pegg, states the return of greyhound racing to Oxford is a concern due to ‘animal welfare’ and ‘gambling’.
In 2019, the last full year of racing, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain recorded 4,970 injuries, while there were 207 track fatalities.
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— Liam Rice (@OxMailLiamRice) July 14, 2022
The motion states: “The continuation of greyhound racing at the stadium prevents it being used for more active leisure-based activities.
“Council notes there has been an informal assessment of the site by British Cycling who have stated it would be suitable as a velodrome, combined with a BMX and learn-to-ride facility, with ample space for other community uses.
“The council considers itself to be a caring council which seeks the highest standards of welfare for all animals.”
The motion calls on the council to consult with people in Oxford on what their preferred options are for the stadium and ask Alex Hollingsworth, the cabinet member for planning and housing delivery, to write to the stadium, to request other uses for the site are explored.
The stadium’s managing director Kevin Boothby secured a 10-year lease for the stadium from Galliard Homes in June of last year.
This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.
Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.
Get in touch with him by emailing: Liam.email@example.com
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